The representation of women as art is not uncommon in literature. In Browing’s My Last Duchess it is very clear that he believes his last duchess is a subject of art. Creating women as art is suppression. Art is not reality; it is a depiction. My Last Duchess shows how women are suppressed in traditional relationships because men have complete authority and only a woman’s beauty is worth preserving. After reading Foucault’s Lives of Infamous Men, the duke would be considered an authoritative figure that has written the duchess’s history; even if she were still alive, she would not be able to talk back to the duke and tell of her true experiences. One matter that is brought to the reader 's concern here is the dominance of males in traditional relationships. The duke clearly has authority over the duchess. The duke killed his last duchess; he killed her out of jealousy.
I gave commands;
Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands
As if alive (Browning 55-57).
Two very important things are seen in this quote. The duke gave commands. To command is to give authoritative order. When the duchess did not follow these orders, she could no longer smile; now, she cannot smile for she only exist in the painting. The duke killed her because she smiled at people or objects that were not him;
The dropping of daylight in the West,
The bough of cherries some officious fool
Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule
Se rode with round the terrace - all and each
Would draw from…